Third trimester update

7 June 2018

I haven’t been one to share regular pregnancy updates, either this time around or last, but it seems like I should offer some reflections before I get too far long! And at 31 weeks, it seems like it’s about time. Sooooo…

31 weeks

This is literally the first official bump photo I’ve taken this pregnancy… I asked John to take it last night after I realized I didn’t have a photo for this post!

Baby size: A winter squash, a puppy, or a chocolate box. Otherwise known as about 3.3 pounds and 16 inches.

Sleep status: Good! I had one night of hip and knee pain (which hit in earnest around 36 weeks last time) and was worried it would stick around, but so far it hasn’t. I’ve found I’m waking up a bit earlier and it’s easier to get out of bed in the morning, a side effect I remember from last time that I love!

Maternity clothes: Whoever said being pregnant in the summer versus winter is easier, sartorially speaking, is not my friend — I have had to buy WAY more clothing this time around! Maternity shorts, a maternity bathing suit, swing dresses to beat the heat, a dress for a wedding… they all make my life more comfortable, but more expensive than my January baby did! Definitely wearing more workout clothes on days I work from home than I did last time! :)

Gender: Boy!

Movement: Lots! Pretty much constantly, but especially when I get into bed at night, which I love :) Feeling another human move around inside me will always be the weirdest and most wonderful thing about pregnancy, I think.

Cravings: Dessert? Not sure if that’s pregnancy-related, though :) Also ham and cheese sandwiches!!

Symptoms: Occasional Braxton-Hicks contractions.

Favorites: Evening walks. I am convinced that consistent evening walks are what kept me loose and limber up until the very end with June, and I have tried my darnedest to keep up with them this time around, too. Not only are they good exercise, but they are the perfect opportunity to breathe fresh air and chat with John about whatever is on my mind! Which brings us to…

Current preoccupying thoughts: As many of you know, June was breech and delivered by c-section. With baby boy, I have the opportunity to either attempt a VBAC or schedule another c-section. There are risks and benefits to both, and the tricky thing is that while I have always said that my only desired outcome is a healthy baby and a healthy mama (something people often say when they want to express that they are fine with any delivery outcome), I feel like the type of delivery I choose potentially has an impact on how healthy baby and mama will be — and that feels like a crushing amount of pressure sometimes. Throughout the last 31 weeks new bits of information have had me swinging back and forth between the two options, and though we have made at least a tentative decision at this point, I don’t feel particularly settled about it, and am not sure I ever will.

Looking forward to: Our upcoming vacation, of course!! One of my goals in this season is to simply enjoy our family of three before it becomes a family of four, and I am just buoyant at the thought of two mostly-uninterrupted weeks with some of my favorite people in two of my favorite places.

Nursery status: Progress has been made! We made some necessary furniture shifts a few weeks ago between the rooms upstairs, we have a design plan and potential paint colors, and I’ve been in touch with a painter for after we return!

Left to do: It feels like SO many things. Right around 28 weeks I had this moment of not-quite-panic where I realized we hadn’t really done ANYTHING to prepare for brother. I know the same type of preparations aren’t needed for a second child as a first, and I’m all for a relaxed approach, but, you know, at some point we do need to do a FEW things to get ready :)

On my mind: Making arrangements for who will care for June if I go into labor early or unexpectedly.

Maternity photos: Attempting to DIY them this weekend! I am using my old trick of asking my stylist to curl my hair at my thrice-yearly cut, and then we’ll get dressed up as a family for the golden hour and head to a pretty location. I don’t need anything too fancy, but we didn’t have any professional maternity photos taken last time and considering the lack of bump photos so far, I want to intentionally make an effort to capture our family of three!

How June’s doing: Great! We had a funny moment the other night where she saw brother move under my skin for the first time, and the look on her face was pure shock — you could almost hear the cogs in her brain spinning, trying to reconcile the movement with what we’ve been telling her about baby brother being inside mama. “But I can’t see him,” she kept saying :)

Next preparations on the list: Finish organizing clothing, figure out a crib, arrange for newborn photos, buy newborn diapers, pack a hospital bag, and buy a gift for June on behalf of baby brother — among many, many other things.

Name: Chosen. Will remain a secret until birth :)

Love being on this ride with you, friends! Thank you for your kindness and enthusiasm, as always!

P.S. Third trimester update with June

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June 7, 2018 10:09 am

Having a human being growing inside you is weird and magical enough for adults to contemplate — that much more amazing for a toddler!

Holly M
June 7, 2018 12:10 pm

I just want to send you a thousand hugs on your VBAC/repeat c-section decision. I was in the same place this time last year with my second baby. We planned and worked toward a VBAC. I even changed my c-section date at the last minute to give myself more time to go into labor. But the biggest thing I prayed for and asked friends and family to pray for was clarity–that we would make the best decision possible with the information we had. I went into labor (was 6 cm when I arrived at the hospital–yay!!) and then found out about a huge complication that was potentially life-threatening for my baby. Womp, womp, womp. But let me tell you, the peace that flooded over me when I said the words “ok, let’s do a c-section” was the most incredible thing I’d ever experienced. And every day I look at my little guy and thank God that he is here safely, no matter how many scars I carry on my body. :) I know you will make the best decision for you and your little fellow. Best wishes on your final weeks of pregnancy!

June 8, 2018 4:36 am

Hey Em,
I can totally understand your thoughts on that decision! I was in the same boat. I knew I wanted a natural birth the second time around. That first scheduled c-section traumatized me a bit, I think. It took me quite a while to recover physically and having a child not knowing what a contraction feels like was something I had a hard time to accept. Well, now that I know what contractions feel like (I was in labor for over three days!), I am okay with the thought that I won’t have to deal with those again ;-)
Long story short, I ended up having a second c-section. But I recovered so much faster and I felt such peace about it. And of course, baby’s and mama’s health are the most important thing. I’m sure you guys will make the right the decision. Praying that you can feel peace about it!

June 8, 2018 8:37 am

If you’re up for sharing your thought process on VBAC vs c-section in a later post, I would love to hear! Although of course, i 1000% understand that something so personal may not make it to the blog :). I wish you peace and good luck with whatever path you choose!

I just had my first via an unplanned c-section, after 22 hours of intense labor. Turns out my bone structure made it impossible for my 7 lb baby to get out. I’m told that next time I may be a candidate to attempt a VBAC though, and I’m already feeling guilty about just wanting to schedule a repeat c-section. I have no interest in another long labor if there’s a good chance it will end in a caesarean anyways, and the recovery from the surgery has not been as terrible as I had imagined. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself but the delivery is so fresh in my mind it’s impossible not to think about what I will do next time.

June 11, 2018 6:29 am

I love these pregnancy updates my friend – and i can’t believe how quickly 31 weeks have come and gone!
It’s so exciting – we are praying for your strength and clarity in making your birth decision. My only advice would be to get your head around both and let our Lord take over… I was trying my best to have a VBAC second time around and ended up having another emergency c-section at 34weeks so the Lord knew our plan.

June 12, 2018 11:22 am

Totally unrelated to the post, but please tell about the shoes you’re wearing in that photo! :)